Maria Sharapova makes winning return at Mallorca Open
Maria Sharapova will take on Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in the second round
Last Updated: 18/06/19 8:08pm
Maria Sharapova made a winning return from injury in the first round of the Mallorca Open.
The former world No 1 had not played since withdrawing ahead of a second-round match against Daria Gavrilova in St Petersburg at the start of February because of more problems with her right shoulder.
Sharapova looked understandably rusty in the first set against Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova but she came from a break down to win it on a tie-break before racing to a 7-6 (10-8) 6-0 victory.
It was the Russian's first win on grass since the quarter-finals of Wimbledon four years ago, and she said on wtatour.com: "It's always nice to get a victory.
"It's been a while since I've been out there, so it was good to put down a few things I've worked on, put the arms into action. There's still a lot to work on and improve, but I had to start somewhere."
In the second round, Sharapova will face top seed and Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber, who defeated Ysaline Bonaventure 7-5 4-6 6-2.
Nottingham champion Caroline Garcia continued her winning run, beating former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka 1-6 6-4 7-5.
At the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham, world No 1 Naomi Osaka battled her way to a 6-1 4-6 6-3 victory over Maria Sakkari in the first round.
Like clay, grass is a surface on which Osaka is having to learn to find her feet, and she said: "I feel every day that I play on grass of course I'm going to learn how to play better, but for now I'm just really happy I was able to win that match."
Rain brought an early end to play, meaning Ashleigh Barty must wait until Wednesday to play her first match as a Grand Slam champion.
We will have the grass-court season covered via our website skysports.com/tennis. On the move? Head to our app for mobile devices and iPad, or follow our Twitter account @SkySportsTennis to join in the conversation.